Proceeds from tattooed Texas moms’ calendar refused by nonprofit
32 mothers, part of a group called the Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas,
hoped to donate proceeds from their 1950s style calendar to the
Children's Advocacy Center in Denton. The center, which helps victims of
sexual abuse, instead refused its proceeds, calling the photographs too
sexual in nature.
Courts Griner Photography / A 2014-2015 pinup calendar created by the Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas features 32 moms in 1950s attire.
It's beauty beyond skin deep, but still in the eye of the beholder.
A group of tattooed moms behind a pinup calendar raising money for
charity in Texas have had its proceeds thrown back at it after being
called too sexy for the chosen nonprofit.
The 32 "unconventional moms," part of a 700-member group called the Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas, hoped to share the proceeds of their two-year calendar with the Children's Advocacy Center in Denton.
Courts Griner Photography / The two-year calendar features just a small portion of the group's 700 members.
Despite the nonprofit's need for funds, after taking one look at the
women's 1950s-styled photos, they said "no thank you" instead.
"The money was raised with a pinup calendar that could be perceived by
some as sexual in nature, and our Children's Advocacy Center's mission
is to provide justice and healing for children who are the victims of
sexual abuse," said the center's Executive Director Daniel Leal in a
To some of those hardworking mommas turned models, they described
themselves as "appalled" and "disappointed" by the charity's decision — and perception of their photos.
Courts Griner/ The women originally hoped to
donate proceeds from their calendar to the Children's Advocacy Center
in Denton, Texas, which helps victims of sexual abuse, but their offer
was rejected, while also being called too sexual in nature.
"We don't get to dress up as moms. Normally we don't wear makeup, we
don't get fancied up where we feel beautiful," the organization's
founder, Stacy Willingham, told the Daily News.
"We might not understand the way they called the pictures sexual
because we don't think they were sexual in nature," she said, but added
that at the same time, "We never meant to earn them negative publicity."
Courts Griner/ Some of the women expressed
that they were upset at the charity's decision. The group's founder,
Stacy Willingham, said they'll simply find another charity to take its
An email by the Advocacy Center rejecting Willingham's anticipated
$3,000 to $5,000 in funds from the $30 calendars commended the mothers
for "just being you," but described their organization as having a
"highly conservative nature."
The man behind the calendar's lens, photographer Courts Griner, disapproved with the charity's take on the photos as well.
"It was a real big honor to work with these moms and make them feel
like cover moms," he told the Daily News. "They were all sweet as can
be. A lot of them have never had a like a glamour-type photo taken of
Courts Griner/ The calendar's photographer
Courts Griner described the women as an honor to work with. He
particularly emphasized its boost in the mothers' confidence with the
photos turning out beautifully.
"I always try to see a topic like this on both sides," he said, but "we really don't feel that these images are too risque."
riner argued claims that the nonprofit previously accepted funds from
other organizations such as the Dallas Mavericks Cheerleaders and
Courts Griner/ The calendars are on sale for $30 and are expected to raise $3,000 to $5,000 in funds.
"I find those calendars a little more sexual than what I did," he said.
Leal called claims like that, allegedly spread on social media sites like Facebook, unfounded.
"We don't get any proceeds from any calendars, nothing like that," he told The News.
Courts Griner/ Two of the three charities
voted on by the women (posing and otherwise) were the Juvenile Diabetes
Research Foundation and the White Family from DeSoto, Texas, whose
family suffered tragic losses at the hand of a gunman.
"People were really stretching, comparing it to some other donations
that we've received from other organizations, like the Dallas Mavericks,
but we don't have a dancers calendar."
Willingham, a mother-of-two, said it was the second year her
organization came out with a calendar featuring some of its members, but
said it expect this year's to be the most successful.
Courts Griner/ Willingham, the group's founder, expressed her group as an incredible opportunity for 'women supporting one another.'
It plans to donate money raised to two of its original three charities that members had previously voted on.
Those two are the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the White
Family from DeSoto, Texas, who tragically lost members because of a
gunman earlier this year.
As for the pinups, Willingham and Griner both described themselves as
extremely proud of the photographs and the self-esteem that resulted
from their work.
Griner reflected on one particular mother who posed as a welder in her shots — shots he said came out positively stunning.
"She had commented that she had never felt that beautiful in front of a
camera, ever," he said. He described her shoot as one of his favorites,
though added, "Obviously I enjoyed working with all of them."
Willingham expressed the same.
"I'm so happy that we were able to come together and feel that support
and bond," she said. "More moms need that … incredible women supporting
one another." firstname.lastname@example.org